Real NEastate: Tax rebates for seniors

By Stacey McCarthy Q: My mother’s homeowners taxes are very high in her East Torresdale home. She is collecting Social Security and is on a fixed income. Doesn’t she qualify for a tax break because she is over 65?

A: The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is available to senior citizens in Pennsylvania. It’s not a tax break; she will still have to pay her property taxes, but she will get money back in the form of a rebate check if she qualifies. Additionally, because your mother lives in Philadelphia, she may qualify for the expanded property tax relief for seniors in Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania residents 65 or older, and widows or widowers over 50, making less than $35,000 a year may qualify for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate. Half of Social Security is excluded from their income calculation. Their income level determines how much of a rebate they can receive.

In Pennsylvania, the maximum rebate is $650. Seniors who live in Philadelphia, and whose income is under $30,000, are eligible to see their rebates increase by an additional 50 percent, up to a maximum of $975, depending on income.

Call to have a Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program application mailed to you at 1-888-222-9190.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarty Group of Keller Williams Real Esate. Her Real NEastate column will appear on every Wednesday.

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